A DASH OF IRONY
Guess what… a new Starbucks franchisee cafe just opened in Porto… yay.. (not...!)
You know, we've all done things in the past that we’re not proud of. Mine include entering Starbucks a few years back in Madrid on a desperate quest for free wi-fi or going for a BigMAc burguer in Vienna. Oh and… those chicken wings at a KFC in London… shame on me…!! Yes, I have been a lazy tourist, I must admit. Against all guidelines of sustainable tourism, I have 'sinned'. Not proud of it though..!!
Irony aside now: I totally understand people who go in multinational brand cafes or restaurants while visiting a new city, in search for a familiar meal or quick fix of coffee to fight off those jet lag symptoms. I get it, I really do. But if you payed for an airline ticket to Porto, maybe just landed from an intercontinental flight, you deserve much better. And genuine. For unique local cafes - and a decent espresso or specialty coffee - read on:
LOCAL CAFES FROM THE 20's
This one is a classic. Located in Rua de Santa Catarina - our open air shopping center - this bélle epoque cafe kept its elegance throughout the decades and became a touristic hotspot. Despite its age, it has a fairly decent website < check out all the sweet stuff!! To get a table on weekends or even late afternoon on weekdays can be a bit of challenge, though...
If you find MAJESTIC to be a bit too crowded - it's not a large space and it is mentioned in every tourist guide and blog... - you can walk ( or jog ) 400meters down to the central Aliados avenue and check out Guarany.
Guarany, also from the 20's, has more of an Art Deco look. With a privileged location, facing the most central avenue of Porto, this is a classy café and there are even some local artists and poets who still go there everyday.
Running past its entrance, as we reach Aliados Avenue, during a running tour.
3. CAFÉ ÂNCORA D'OURO - o 'Piolho'
Literally it means 'golden anchor'. D'ouro is also the name of the nearby river: DOURO. But put together in Portuguese, the two words read 'ancora-d'ouro/ancoradouro', anchorage or port in English.
It's a centenary café (est. 1909!!) that local students call 'o Piolho' and where they go to grab their first afternoon/night's last beer. If you're not into crowds be sure to avoid Thursday evenings - the student's night. During daytime and weekdays, you'll be fine.
Not fancy and not pricey, you'll have a genuine experience and keep a fairly accurate impression of what a local's unpretentious cafe really is all about.
Sérgio é o fundador da Porto Running Tours, corre regularmente desde 1999 e desde 2015 que guia visitas em corrida na Invicta enquanto revela algumas das suas mais fascinantes histórias.
PORTO RUNNING TOURS
We're passionate about running and passionate about Porto!
WE'RE LISTED ON
Your gateway to fun and unique running tours worldwide.
We practice sustainable tourism!